ORLANDO, Fla., July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In his keynote address at the eighth Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2000, Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - news), today announced the initial developer availability to PDC attendees of the Microsoft® .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET for building, integrating and running next-generation, XML-based Web services. Visual Studio.NET, the latest version of the world's most widely used development tools, provides native support for drag and drop development of Web services. Together, these two products provide developers with a high productivity, multilanguage environment to rapidly build, deliver and integrate Web services on the Microsoft .NET Platform.
``Delivering this software to developers today is an important milestone in helping developers build next-generation Internet software and services,'' Maritz said. ``By creating a unified platform where devices and services cooperate with each other, Microsoft is unleashing a new wave of developer opportunity and creativity that will help developers reach a new level of power and simplicity.''
At the heart of the .NET Platform is the .NET Framework, a high-productivity, multilanguage development and execution environment for building and running Web services with important features such as cross-language inheritance and debugging. The .NET Framework simplifies the creation of Web services by automatically handling many common programming tasks, regardless of programming language, reducing the amount of code developers must write and eliminating common sources of programming errors. The .NET Framework is the industry's first development environment to natively support Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). The .NET Framework incorporates advances to two key Microsoft development technologies: the Component Object Model, the most popular reusable software model in the world, and Active Server Pages, used by nearly 1 million Web developers.
Separately, Microsoft announced that 17 third-party programming languages, such as Perl from ActiveState and Python from Skippi-net, will support the .NET Framework. The result is a new model of service-based development that offers faster time to market and more reliable, scalable software.
Microsoft also announced the .NET Compact Framework, which allows any device to emit or consume XML-based Web services. The .NET Compact Framework is a small footprint, CPU-independent implementation of the .NET Framework. Microsoft will provide a version for Windows® CE and other embedded operating systems, as well as for devices that do not require an operating system.
Visual Studio.NET is the most productive tool set for developers building Web services on the .NET Platform. Visual Studio.NET, which includes updates to the Visual Basic® and Visual C++® development systems, the Visual FoxPro® database development system, and a new language, C#, the recently announced dialect of C++, helps developers extend today's development skills to tomorrow's Web applications and Web services. Visual Studio.NET provides an easy-to-use, extensible integrated development environment (IDE) for the .NET Framework. Together, the new technologies introduced in the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET will enable millions of developers worldwide to quickly build and consume scalable, reliable and manageable Web services.
``We're really excited about Visual Studio.NET,'' said Bill Shea, software development manager for Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. ``Enabling our software developers to rapidly build applications that integrate with the systems we have today, and that use Internet standards to communicate with any client system or device, will help us further enhance our service offerings and maintain our position as one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies.''
About Microsoft .NET
The Microsoft .NET Platform, announced June 22 at Forum 2000, is Microsoft's initiative for creating the next generation of software, which melds computing and communications in a revolutionary way. This vision offers developers, businesses and consumers the ability to harness technology on their terms and with the tools they need to create truly distributed Web Services making information available any time, any place and on any device.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.
NOTE: Microsoft, Visual Studio, Windows, Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual FoxPro are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.